DE Food Bank sees donation decrease

    The Food Bank of Delaware says food donations are lagging behind what the organization received a year ago.

    The Food Bank of Delaware says food donations are lagging behind what the organization received a year ago.

    Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO Patricia Beebe reports its 2009 holiday food drive is nearly 25,000 pounds under what had been collect at this point in 2008.

    “It’s a surprise, but it’s certainly a situation that we can correct,” said  Beebe.

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    Beebe believes that people just need a reminder of the need many Delawareans face during the current economic downturn.

    “Last year, because the recession had just hit and we were doing a lot more with mobilizing the community, it was more in people’s minds than it is, I sense, this year,” explains Beebe.  “What we need to do this year is once again say, hey look, more people than before are needing assistance and are out of work.  If anything, the situation has gotten worse.”

    Beebe points to Delaware’s increasing unemployment rate, specifically the closures of the Valero, GM and Chrysler plants, which not only put Delawareans out of work, but were companies that historically donated generously to the Food Bank.

    Beebe is encouraged that money donated to the Food Bank has not fallen and there’s been an increase in time volunteered, but adds the shortage of food donations is significant.

    “The job market hasn’t rebounded yet.  A lot of the predictions are that its going to take Delaware longer to bounce back than some other states.  So, I think that this is really important, for Delawareans to step up,” said Beebe.

    The Food Bank hopes to spur donations by encouraging people to hold food drives.

    “Food drives were a tremendous success last year.  We got tons of food, literally, from people doing food drives, people going door to door in neighborhoods, people having food drives at their holiday parties,”  Beebe said. “So, we really are encouraging people to do all that and more this year.”

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